Service With a Smile—or Is It a Grimace?

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

The Department of Homeland Security, respected and admired by all Americans for its relentless inspection of possibly explosive shoes and belts, and scrupulous scrutiny of electronically strip-searched fliers, has announced that it will further exhaust itself for our benefit by installing facial recognition machinery in most of the country’s airports. Such devices are already in use in the major terminals.

Several members of Congress have questioned the statutory authority of the department to employ such measures. In a letter to the DHS, they have asked for legal citations which would justify facial recognition procedures. We are amazed!

Do these foolish Congressmen understand the workings of the system? Unless they only recently arrived from Mars, they must realize that the people of this country have a single overriding purpose--to serve the Rulers. To coin a phrase: Ours not to reason why; ours but to do or die. Our Rulers do, in fact, make it clear that if we don’t “do,” we could very well die--or at least languish in prison.

You might mention to the authorities--although I advise against it--that your roof is leaking, your foundation cracking, and your plumbing clogging, thereby seeking to place the selfish interests of your own family against the urgent demands of the Ruler/Strangers, who want you to finance your own degradation. Be warned: This is not the American way! You can make do with domestic disintegration, but the Rulers must be compensated when and how they demand, if our freedom is to be protected by our soldiers stationed in a thousand or so bases in just about every country in the world. You should be ashamed to place the condition of your roof, foundation, and pipes against the security provided by our fighting men and women protecting you in Chad, or the Ivory Coast, or some other fearsome potential enemy. Your failing infrastructure is a small price to pay indeed for protection against the soldiers of Ulan Bator marching down your street!

Furthermore, the foolish Congressmen who demand that the DHS cite some statute in its defense are evidently unaware of the operation of government. Statutory authorization has been unnecessary for decades. Where, for example, is the statutory justification for foreign aid, or Medicare, or minimum wage laws, or automobile exhaust regulation? How about subsidies to farmers, or certain mothers, or schools, or electric automobile manufacturers? Is the regulation of business authorized by the Constitution? Where does the Constitution empower the Supreme Court to judge a statute, or even a proposed statute, Constitutional or not?

Come on, Congressmen, grow up! Your outfit does what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants, and no law is required. But if, astonishingly, there was a requirement for an authorizing statute, all you need do is pass such a law.

For the rest of us, not operating in a marble palace with a passel of flunkies to do our bidding, the choice is clear: no choice at all! Well, a small choice. When exiting the plane, smile!

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